USA Road Trip week 20-Florida
Winter in the warm south
Week 20 – Florida
We arrived in Florida to be greeted by strong winds and sunshine. A visit to the beach at Boynton saw two women sitting on the beach on their deck chairs in spite of the strong wind blowing sand against them. After all they had taken their leave and so for better or for worse they were going to get that suntan. What was promising to us was the presence of several different birds species patrolling the edges of the water looking for food. We would be back to identify them and take photos later when the wind had died down.
Audrey's sister Jessie and her husband Errol moved to Florida from South Africa several years ago and so we could pack our tents away for a week or so and use their house in Boyton Beach as a base to explore this part of Florida and the Everglades before travelling south to the Keys.
Sitting outside Errol and Jessie’s house I can hear the air-conditioning units in their house and the two neighboring houses laboring relentlessly to keep house temperatures at a comfortable level in this evening in late October. After a few cool days the temperature has again become uncomfortably hot and humid and so few people are outside in the early evening. Planes pass over regularly either to Miami or Fort Lauderdale in the south or Orlando and Palm Beach to the north keeping air controllers of a different kind on their toes at the many busy airports in the area. Again we have been surprised by the sheer vastness of this country – Florida, after all, looks quite small on a map of the States but as you travel you soon realize that this is a deception of scale and planning a trip to Key-West this week means a lot of distance to cover.
It was the development of efficient air-conditioning in the 1950’s that lead to this flat, low lying part of the country, that at that stage was mostly swamps, to be drained by the digging of thousands of miles of canals and then changed into huge towns and suburbs with one gated community after another, one block of flats after another, one golf course after another and one town after another! Connecting this mass of humanity is a five lane highway, a toll Road and a plethora of flyovers and secondary roads, not to mention the airports and inter- coastal waterways with its yachts and boats of all sizes and shapes. This is the land of opportunity in all its opulent wealth and beauty.
If I could choose one place in the USA to bird and specially to take photos of birds I would choose Florida as it is very 'birder' friendly and has a really big bird list due to its climate.